Day 95


Wake at 5am. The sun is eating into the room despite the blind being down. I’m thinking about the harbour masters call yesterday and the fact that he’s offered me a proper mooring in the harbour, row B berth 14, for a yacht up to 30ft. I’ve only been on the waiting list for 14 years. 14 years! That’s how valuable they are these moorings, except that there’s definitely been a dodgy trade of boats and berths in the past which is why it’s taken this long. Anyway, I’ve not been worrying about it, and any earlier would have been too soon for me perhaps – I’ve had enough to do, and everything in its time. But now I’m definitely interested. So I get up and walk down to the harbour to have a look as it’s just coming on to low tide. It would be pretty amazing to have a proper sail boat here. I’m a minutes walk from the harbour and it couldn’t be much easier.


I trudge about in the mud looking at how the mooring chains are set, and checking out the motley crew of vessels lined up. My problem is that I’ve already lost my heart to a boat called ‘Gregory’s Girl’, an early 80’s beauty languishing in a marina in the Canaries. I’ve already found the boat of my dreams, but due to my illness have done nothing about it. I’ve not written that letter, I’ve not found out if there are possibilities. Sometimes a dream is enough, but now this mooring has come up and what do I do? Forget that mad dream? Settle for a more manageable option? Gregory’s Girl wouldn’t work on this mooring, she has more expensive tastes; needs a deeper water berth, a heavier commitment. She needs me to move to the Canaries for 6 months, learn Spanish and put her back in sailing order, put a lot of love into her and give my life to her. I know, she’s a fools choice, but look at me…

Maybe I’ll draft that letter.

I’m sitting on the bench with the missing slats overlooking Abbey Basin. The suns up warm already it’s 5.45am. I call Ali at the Dog & Rabbit. She knows the story and is quietly amused, and concentrating on making lunch for the coming cafe customers.

At 10am I’m up at West Cornwall Hospital in Pz for my next CT scan. It’s good to be reminded of what’s really happening here. I think that, and then I think “But what is really happening here?”. Well right now the CT scan is happening. It’s different people operating the machinery but the form is the same. I lie down on the scanner bed, glasses off, no metal objects or zips, am given instructions and an injection of a fluid that will highlight my liver and kidneys, that will make me flush hot for a short while and give me a strong feeling like I’ve peed myself. All these things happen, my palms burn hot and I move back and forth through the donut breathing in and out on demand. Then it’s done. I ask if I can photograph the machine – the laughing reply of course you can.

Then home and pack for an over-night at Mum and Dads as I’m due at Derriford Plymouth tomorrow morning early for the PET/CT scan. Once that’s done I’m up to the barn where Simon comes to help with the brakes and injectors on the bus, and help with a couple of other little things that only another mind and pair of hands can do. Thanks Si!

I’m on time for my train but the actual train leaves 10 minutes earlier than I’d mis-remembered it departing. It’s the Chemohead causing little things to go astray. I call M & D – the next train is an hour a half later.

Instead of going home I decide to call in on Dennis and Fiona his companion and helper. Dennis Bateman is my 94 year old neighbour who is fading fast but holding on. He recognises me briefly then forgets and closes his eyes. We used to bond over a love of old sports cars, and I try to get him to remember his Lamborghini of the past but he’s distracted and tired. Dennis was navigator in a Wellington bomber in 1943 and was shot down over Germany. He talked briefly about it once to me on the street, remembering the surprised detachment of seeing the steel plates of the floor flying up in the air and coming down the fuselage towards him, smashed by the shells of the German night fighter that blew them out of the sky. He parachuted to the relative safety of a POW camp until the end of the war. A complete gentleman. He said he felt full admiration for the Luftwaffe pilot who did such a professional job!